The re-emergence of The Original Banksy

Over the years, the “Banksy” identity has been hijacked by some of his former colleagues and PR agent. They eventually formed a company in 2004 to exploit the growing popularity of the Banksy style.

First Pictures on Walls Ltd, and then Pest Control (Office) Ltd, copied many of Banksy’s pieces and used the brand, and his name, Banksy for pieces they had created themselves. The Original Banksy has never worked for these companies not ever given them permission to copy and profit from his work.

This situation emerged because Banksy was an innovator. He created the street art which emerged from crude graffiti, consisting up to that point of words and political slogans.

From 2000 to 2004, his secretive and anonymous approach, using a combination of stencilling for speed and hand painting, created the Banksy persona and style. This persona suited Banksy, because what he was doing was illegal, and it gave the local media a series of news stories.

The name “Banksy” was coined by the Bristol media who were referring to the bankable value of his work and the benefit they received from the symbiotic relationship.

The relationship broke down in 2004 when the media ignored the calls he had previously used to notify them about each painting. The police also became aggressive and tried to follow and arrest him.

He shared a PR agent with other widely-known artists but, when his PR agent wanted him to adopt a higher profile by becoming a party animal and behaving so that he would be thrown out of bars and clubs, he rebelled.

The Original Banksy is hoping to use this exhibition, “Off The Wall” to let his art speak for itself and show the world how he has developed over the years. He is angry at how he was pushed out and how the commercial forces of Pest Control (Office) Ltd took over the use of the name that is rightfully his.

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